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Editorial: Time for Bangladesh to focus on renewable energy, not coal

February 18, 2021

Dhaka Tribune:

Shifting away from coal is not only desirable, but absolutely necessary in these times.

In spite of being detrimental to environment, coal has long been seen as the most affordable option to meet our energy goals. As a nation with ambitious growth targets, our energy needs are tremendous, and in this pursuit for growth, sustainability often gets forgotten.

But a lot has changed in the past year, and the financing scenario is no longer what it used to be. Coal is now a much less attractive option than it was before for Bangladesh: There has been a wave of cancellations of coal power all over South Asia and Southeast Asia — in the face of mounting public pressure against projects that harm the climate and global biodiversity, banks are less willing to fund coal, and are becoming more committed to renewable energy.

This is not merely an issue of green-house gas emissions and the damage to the environment that is the problem — for a long time, experts had been warning that coal power expansion in this region risked overcapacity, asset stranding, and wasted capital.

It is great to see that as Bangladesh reconsiders many of its coal power projects, other South and Southeast Asian countries are following our lead in this coal power capping. While some who had their hearts set on coal power will be disappointed, there is no denying that shifting away from coal is not only desirable, but absolutely necessary in these times.

Climate change is the biggest global emergency we are facing, and to move forward, we simply cannot ignore the realities we face. It is time to explore clean and renewable energy more thoroughly, so that as we move forward in our development journey, we do so ethically and responsibly.

More: Editorial: Coal is not the future — time to focus on renewables

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